Last week, we noted that a negotiated resolution of Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s discipline was possible, but not likely. The problem was that Watson, since last week, was determined to clear his name.
With Watson settling 20 of the 24 cases pending against him, that will likely set the stage for a deal between the league, the union and Watson.
Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reports that negotiations have indeed occurred. Yet she speaksShe fell apart” on the extent of the penalty.
The negotiated discipline is unprecedented. The result is announced as the penalty is final, and the player waives his appeal rights.
What complicates matters for Watson is the fact that there is no precedent for the new procedure that begins with the NFL proposing a penalty, continues with an independent Disciplinary Officer setting the discipline, if any, and the Commissioner having jurisdiction over any player or team appeal. Unless the Disciplinary Officer decides not to impose any discipline, Goodell has the final say in determining the punishment.
The best outcome for Watson would be to fix everything. Resolve lawsuits. Establish the discipline. Serve suspension. And then come back, play good football, win games, stay out of trouble, and in time much of this incident will be forgotten. Just like it was for Ben Roethlisberger.